Open weather

  • Rickie Fowler tees off at the 5th during practice on Monday. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

    Former Open champion Ben Curtis, also pictured during Monday's fair weather. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

    The 6th hole at Royal St George's. Fine conditions are unlikely to hold through the tournament. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

  • Open weather
    12.07.2011 13:45


    This week the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, is hosting the Open for the 13th time.

    It held its first in 1894, the first time the Open was contested outside of Scotland.

    It would be natural to think that the weather might behave reasonably well during the in a place as far south as Kent; but we should all be used to the caprice of the British summer by now, and at a links course such as Royal St George’s it does not take much anyway for the wind to play a part.

    In 1938 it was more than just an inconvenience when the wind whipped up to gale force and wrecked an exhibition tent, the debris from which was found almost a mile away at the old club house. Alf Padgham didn’t mind, though; hitting downwind, without the benefit of modern equipment he managed to drive 385 yards along the 11th fairway and holed out for an eagle two.

    In both 1981 and 1985 the course was beset by rain and strong winds, and this year’s Open looks like seeing at least one day of similar weather, with wet and windy conditions expected on Saturday.

    Thursday will dawn cool and might just start dry but looks like clouding over to bring rain from the east with a brisk north-westerly wind blowing. There is a possibility that the rain will just hold up over the Channel but the chances are higher of at least a little rain for a time, although it should become drier again later.

    Friday looks much better for golf: there is a small chance of a passing shower around the middle of the day but it will be largely dry with some sunshine, the best of it early in the day. Winds will be light westerly at first, becoming south-westerly in the afternoon and increasing a little.

    Saturday, though, will have a stiff southerly breeze setting in preceding rain from the west, which could turn rather heavy. There is even a small risk of a thunderstorm.

    On Sunday the wind might ease a little as it veers southwest to westerly but it will still be strong and gusty enough to cause problems. Moreover, there will be a chance of showers rattling through, and potentially quick passing downpours with a small risk of a thunderstorm. It looks like being one of those mixed days, though, and the sun should appear from time to time as well, even if only briefly.

    The temperature will only be between 19 and 21C at best, even on the most favoured day, Friday. In the rain on Saturday it might not get much higher than 17C.

    By: Stephen Davenport